Hobby Hunting

So classes are over. I have a degree. I have a full-time job starting in July. I have this short summer in Illinois, and among all the various loose ends to tie up, I will have some free time.

I know, shocker.

If you know me at all, I'm the gal that gets things done. People wonder when I sleep based on everything I do and have done. To be totally honest, I think the last time I didn't have something to do was probably in high school. Otherwise I've been on a never-ending list of items to accomplish and things to prepare for. My hobby has been ACADEMICS. If I was stressed during college, it was easier to move to another school-related project than to dive into a hobby.

Now I'm not naive enough to assume my new job will neatly fall in the hours I work (and get paid for). I'm sure I'll take work home. However, I do want to find something(s) to do when I'm not working. Something to creatively challenge me and something other than my workout schedule (which could be classified as a hobby in some lights but not the sort of hobby I'm trying to take up).

I also want to take up a hobby because when I've recently been asked, "What's your hobby?" I struggle for an answer. I weakly reply, "Reading?" my voice rising up at the end in a clear question. I'm unsure of myself in that moment.

So I started to hunt around. Most of this next part started with a phone call with my good friend, Angela, who is also hobby hunting. We went to the spot where many a research paper has begun at: Wikipedia. And in true Wiki fashion, there is a whole page devoted to "List of hobbies." Or see "Hobby" for a more comprehensive definition. 

Boy, did I underestimate the various ways to divide hobbies. Do I want something inside or outside? Individual or team? Competitive or just friendly? Collection or observation? So many questions and possibilities Angela and I were honestly, a little overwhelmed with options. However we did settle on a handful of options, one of which was writing a blog or podcasting about trying out various hobbies (we know, pretty meta). 

The Wikipedia entry gave me a lot to (seriously) think about. I know the entry was simply a starting point and not a comprehensive list but I found lots of potential hobbies that could be right up my alley. As I hemmed and hawed over which I might choose, I realized I needed to know what the point of this hobby was to me. Was it to further my career (so learning how to code, using 3D printer software, or perfecting my InDesign skills), was it for myself (like sewing, jewelry making, writing/blogging, flexing my movie making muscles, or playing the clarinet), or was was it somewhere in between (using InDesign to create my own planner, learning code to spruce up this fancy website, or sewing my own skirts)?

I'm still not sure.

I think for all the potential hobbies listed above, I want to learn those skills for a variety of reasons. I want to learn how to code so I can develop meaningful instruction when teaching elements of digital literacy. I want to learn how to sew to feel closer to my mom, who never got a chance to teach me to sew. I want to perfect my InDesign skills so when projects come up in my head, I can make those ideas reality. These hobbies have outcomes for me and I think those creative outlets will be necessary for the work I'll continue to do in Library Land. 

Regardless of what I choose or dabble in, I know that these hobbies will be all-in sort of hobbies. Hobbies that when I first get started on a project, I'll be consumed in. I still think to when I scrapbooked; I would take up a table in my family's dining room for weeks, photos strewn everywhere and a sticky glue residue on corners of the table. I'm hoping that when I pick a hobby (or hobbies), it will force me to keep working on balance and self-care.

So I've deemed this summer a Hobby Hunt summer. Where I'm dip into and dip out of hobbies. Try stuff out, figure out what I want to pursue for the next little bit. I'm not sure where the summer (or this hobby hunt) will take me but (I think) I'm ready. What about you? What are your hobbies? How did you find them? Any words of wisdom for this hobby hunter?